Sidney Halpern, Chartered Accountant, Winnipeg, MB, CYBF Mentor

I have 53 years of business experience from an entry-level position and progressing to that of Chief Executive Officer of a corporate group of companies employing 1,000 people. Experience has taught me that a successful company has socially-targeted goals and objectives as part of its mission. I also know that these goals will lead to a multitude of benefits.

Ways to achieve your socially-minded business goals

  1. The easiest goal to measure is to donate percentage of profits to community causes.
  2. Staff should be encouraged to allocate part of their time to volunteering in areas of interest and need in the community.
  3. A human resource policy should include the employment of persons with special needs and immigrants to ease their transition into the new community.
  4. Have staff identify community needs and determine ways to meet them – through financial donation, volunteerism, etc.

Benefits of good corporate citizenship

  1. Customers will favour a good corporate citizen when deciding where to spend their dollars.
  2. Employees will feel good about their having done good and this will create an excellent work environment that leads to improved productivity and ease in attracting skilled staff.
  3. Employees’ skills will improve because of interaction with people in the broader community. This could lead to further opportunities to promote from within rather than filling higher level positions with people from outside the company.

Overall, taking a socially-minded approach to business leads to better sales, improved productivity, less staff turnover and higher profits.

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